Public safety diving teams are called to action for a variety of missions, responding to emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They may be required to dive in the middle of the night, during inclement weather, in zero visibility, or through polluted waters. These selfless men and women are often given very little to time to plan a search and rely solely on their team members, training, and specialized search equipment. JW Fishers seeks to provide these teams with the right tools for the job with the same mission-focus and devotion; any time, rain or shine.
In 2014, Detective Bill Nichols, team leader for the Oneida County (WI) Public Safety Dive Team, along with a group of like-minded Public Safety Scuba Divers from agencies around the state of Wisconsin formed the Midwest Public Safety Divers Association. These divers came together with the support of their agencies to create a resource network that could support public safety dive teams in the Midwest by opening communications to share information training, equipment, operations, and policies.
In 2015, the association held its first annual conference in Stevens Point, WI. The third annual Midwest Public Safety Divers Association Conference took place in 2017 and once again was an enormous success.
Detective Nichols is a current user of both JW Fishers Pulse 8X and SAR-1 underwater metal detectors. During the conference Bill had his search equipment on display for other divers to view. The Pulse 8X underwater metal detector has been rated #1 by U.S. Homeland Security, according to JW Fishers. The SAR-1 was introduced to the market in 2017. Specifically designed for "black water" operations, the SAR-1 is a great tool for teams that must succeed when visibility and dependability are a factor and failure is not an option.
The Washington County (MN) Water Recovery Unit was also in attendance at the Midwest Public Safety Divers Association Conference. Part of the Water, Parks, and Trails Unit, the team is responsible for underwater search and recovery operations that have been directed or requested by the sheriff.
At the conference, the Washington County (MN) Water Recovery Unit demonstrated the capabilities of its JW Fishers ROV (remote operated vehicle) to public safety dive agencies with great success. The ROV is equipped with sector scanning sonar (SCAN-650), which assists with search operations in low-visibility search operations. The team also utilizes a JW Fishers Side Scan Sonar system that they train with regularly.
For more information about JW Fishers, visit www.jwfishers.com.